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Is your product recession-proof?

Depends on what product category it's in, and whether you're leading with brand reputation or value.

Whether you're a B2C or B2B marketer (and I've mostly been the latter) there are many brand cues to take from CPGs and Retailers – after all, they’re the companies who spend the most on branding.

The October 08 issue of CPG Matters cites a recent consumer study by Unilever:  Winning Shoppers in Turbulent Times  detailing which Consumer Product categories are more vulnerable during an economic slump.  

According to the study:

(To save money) the top dozen categories shoppers will not abandon preferred brands (for a generic brand) include:

  • anti-perspirant and deodorant
  • batteries
  • canned vegetables
  • fresh meat and seafood
  • hair care
  • household cleanser
  • laundry detergents
  • margarine
  • pain relievers and cold medicines
  • personal wash
  • pet food
  • tissues and toilet paper

The top five categories where shoppers would reduce spending if the economy continues to struggle (…going to a private-label or generic brand) include:

  • air fresheners
  • cookies
  • beer/wine
  • frozen dinners
  • soda/pop 

So is your product laundry detergent, or cookies?    Are you a brand leader, or a value leader?  

A great primer on the competitive dynamic between consumer goods companies and retailers, which I recently re-read is Private Label Strategy by Nirmalya Kumar and Jan-Benedict Steenkamp.  It is a fast read that describes the power shift from brands to private label goods and the underlying dynamics of establishing value for consumers.


Food for thought for B2B and B2C marketers alike…


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